Since its inception in 2012, BLOCS has existed for one purpose – to build a better life for the youth in our community. And while much of that time was spent putting infrastructure in place and building a solid foundation, BLOCS has also enjoyed a number of important accomplishments. Last year, we found that youth in our highest quality programs are:

6% more likely to reach growth projections in MAP Math compared to their counterparts in lower-quality programs

3% more likely to reach their growth projections in MAP Reading compared to their counterparts in lower-quality programs

Improving 73% of their youth in social-emotional learning competencies over the course of a year

Experiencing lower suspension rates compared to their counterparts in lower-quality programs

Attending school at a rate of 94% (JCPS avg. 93%)



2019 Data Report Summary

This report outlines quality improvement data and youth outcomes data from 2014-2019 for all program sites in the BLOCS network.

Download the full Report


Social-Emotional Development

BLOCS is modeled on the premise that frequent, regular attendance at high-quality OST programs positively impacts the acquisition of social-emotional skills, and is linked to higher school engagement and academic performance. In fact, BLOCS data indicates a statistically significant link between participation in high quality OST programs and fewer school suspensions. Social-emotional learning (SEL) is reported at the program level, as measured by tools such as the Staff Rating of Youth Behavior (SRYB).


The SRYB is completed twice a year by youth workers. The tool collects data based on their experiences with and observations of the youth in their OST programs. This research-based tool gives youth workers a systematic way of tracking the SEL progress of youth over the course of a year, and from year to year.

OST is a Violence Prevention Strategy!

OST can have a strong, positive impact on violence prevention. Adolescent mental and emotional well-being is associated with teens’ environments. Links have been found consistently between teens’ well-being and environments that are emotionally positive and warm and that provide support for developing adolescent autonomy. When youth don’t feel emotionally safe and supported, it can lead to risky behaviors.


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OST is a Workforce Development Strategy!

Workforce development is another critical area in the community where OST can have a strong, positive impact. In addition to improving basic reading, writing, and math skills, workers also need to develop skills in communication, resource allocation, decision making, problem-solving, and using data. OST provides youth with opportunities to develop these kinds of abilities and skills that the GED doesn’t test for and that academic classes don’t fully prepare them for—things like higher-ordered thinking, organization and communication skills. Youth need these life capacities as adults, in order to meet demands, confront challenges and lean into opportunities.